General Advice for Students
Advising: Melissa Siebert is the advisor for philosophy majors. For any questions or concerns including course scheduling, graduation requirements, or navigating VCU, please schedule an appointment with Melissa Siebert through SSC/Navigate.
- Student Life
Be sure to get a copy of the VCU Insider Calendar/Planner, which is free for all students (you should have gotten a copy at registration, but if not, you can pick one up in the Student Commons). It has very useful information about what's available at VCU. It contains copies of a number of important VCU policies, and information about important services such as Student Health Services, University Counseling Services, Career Services (for jobs and graduate school), the Library, the Writing Center, Technology Services (for opening a computer account), and the Bookstore.
- The Philosophy Club
This is a student organization that sponsors discussion sessions, lectures, public talks on issues in philosophy, and that organizes social activities. Participating in these activities is a good way to meet other students and learn more about philosophy. Visit the Philosophy Club website to learn more.
- Applying for Graduate School
A general rule of thumb is to apply to at least five programs (including some very competitive programs and some that are less so). Your advisor can provide you with information about applying for graduate school, including how to select appropriate programs. Generally, by the end of your junior year, you should start work on applications and arrange to take the GRE. Keep in mind that two crucial parts of your application are your sample paper and your letters of recommendation. For this reason, you should make sure that you take several courses with professors who think highly of your work throughout your time as an undergraduate student at VCU. In addition, you should be sure that you have written at least one paper that shows you at your best. Information about graduate schools is available through the Career Services in the Student Commons. For graduate programs in philosophy, your best source of information is the Guide to Graduate Programs in Philosophy. This lists all of the graduate and doctoral programs in the US and Canada and provides useful information on each.
- Finding a Job
VCU Career Services provides a broad range of services. Remember that letters of reference are important, and so it is in your interest to take several courses with some professors who think highly of you.